Let’s hope we can learn from other’s mistakes so we don’t have to make them ourselves.
Great Britain's leniency began in the 1950s, with a policy that only under extraordinary circumstances would anyone under 17 be sent to prison. This was meant to rehabilitate young offenders. But the alternative to incarceration has been simply to warn them to behave, maybe require community service, and return them to the streets. There has been justifiable concern about causes of crime such as poverty and unemployment, but little admission that some individuals prefer theft to work and that deterrence must be taken seriously.
Victims of aggression who defend themselves or attempt to protect their property have been shown no such leniency. Burglars who injured themselves breaking into houses have successfully sued homeowners for damages. In February, police in Surrey told gardeners not to put wire mesh on the windows of their garden sheds as burglars might hurt themselves when they break in.
If a homeowner protecting himself and his family injures an intruder beyond what the law considers "reasonable," he will be prosecuted for assault.
All sorts of weapons useful for self-defense have been severely restricted or banned… Along with rocket launchers and machine guns, the list includes chemical sprays and any knife with a blade more than three inches long.
The ban on handguns did not stop actual crimes committed with handguns. Those crimes rose nearly 40 and doubled by a decade later…
Knives? It's illegal for anyone under age 18 to buy one, and using a knife for self-defense is unlawful.
The lesson from many years of failed criminal justice policies is that deterrence matters, police cannot always protect the public from violence and criminality, and ordinary people must be allowed to protect themselves.